“As a Volunteer Leader for the Youth In Service area, I feel like I get the best of both worlds. I get a lot of personal satisfaction leading a group of young people in service-oriented projects while meeting the needs of underserved populations like seniors who reside in assisted living facilities.

For several years I’ve led a Senior Breakfast Club with YIS volunteers and in that time I’ve had the opportunity to watch many volunteers who may have been intimidated by the idea of working with seniors totally blossom into fully engaged leaders who can’t wait to come back for another project.

I do my best to lead by example and show students how warm and friendly the seniors are, and how much fun it can be to connect with them. At a recent project, we played Black History Month trivia off my iPhone; the youth and seniors had a ball — and I think everyone learned a little something!

Every time I wrap up a project, the seniors are so gracious and can’t wait for us to come back again.”

-Stacy Collins
Youth in Service Leader and Member of the 20th Anniversary Host Committee

Chicago Cares Co-Founders, Leslie Bluhm and Mary Prchal in 1995.

Over the past few months, we have had the pleasure of collecting stories like these in preparation for the Chicago Cares 20th Anniversary Celebration. Each story takes us back to the many volunteers, partners and clients that we have had the privilege to work alongside over the past two decades.

We hope that you will join us on March 9 as we celebrate the amazing work of our co-founders, staff, volunteers and partners with a special evening at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum. Our theme for the evening is Rooted in Community, Growing in Service.

We hope that this time will not only give us a chance to reflect on the past, but also provide an opportunity to dream about what lies ahead! There are many needs to be met in our city and at Chicago Cares, we still believe that people, just like you, are the answer.

Get your ticket and join us next week as we celebrate the past and toast to a very bright future!